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2016 Tony Awards - Editor-in-Chief Robert Diamond's Dress Rehearsal Live Blog- Warning: Contains Spoilers!

It's Tony Sunday! The greatest day of the year has finally arrived. If you're like me (and if you're reading this, you are) - you're up early, and following BroadwayWorld.com for what's going to be a FULL day of fun, excitement and TONYS TONYS TONYS!

Warning! SPOILERS follow below!

1:35 - Thank you all for following along today! I love you all for doing so, and we'll see you back here at 5pm when we start our full and official coverage. It's going to be a great broadcast tonight, celebrating the wonderful season that was.

1:34 - And a stand-in for Barbra Streisand has opened with "Sorry" before launching into this year's nominees for Best Musical.

1:31 - We're back in commercial, with one award to go ... presented by Broadway's greatest export, Barbra Streisand.

1:28 - (Different in the past I think, to the tradition of presenting to the opposite sex?)

1:28 - And another stand-in for 6-time Tony Winner Audra McDonald to present Best Leading Actress in a Musical.

1:26 - Now we've got a stand-in for 'first-timer', Neil Patrick Harris here to present Best Leading Actor in a Musical.

1:25 - Last audience karaoke of the day as we've got just a few big awards to go.

1:22 - and back to a commercial

1:20 - It's being presented beautifully this year with a small orchestral accompaniment.

1:19 - Now onstage is the one and only ... Chita Rivera introducing the in memoriam segment.

1:18 - For today's rehearsal, it's THE COLOR PURPLE... Tonight, we'll have to find out. Insiders say that it's an uber-tight race.

1:16 - Next Uzo Aduba and Sean Hayes are here to present Best Revival of a Musical.

1:15 - and now here's Bebe Neuwirth introducing CHICAGO with a little 'All That Jazz' to celebrate the production's 20 years of dazzle dazzle.

1:14 - Now there's a comedic bit that we're not going to ruin...but it features some very funny and game past Tony winners.

1:13 - A school group took to the stage for another sing-a-long and a raucous 'On My Own', with the still-hilarious James Corden. TV watchers and live attendees are both in for a big treat.

1:08 - Back to commercial, after a rousing ovation for Jessie Mueller.

1:03 - Due to a technical glitch, we're getting to see WAITRESS again (no complaints!)

12:57 - The always radiant Keri Russell is now here to present the number from WAITRESS. Perfect introduction and way to connect the film to the show.

12:53 - A stand-in for Claire Daines is here to present Best Play.

12:52 - Big cheers for Paper Mill Playhouse.

12:52 - They're now presenting clips from earlier in the night for the Special Tony Awards, from the pre-show ceremony that they will be hosting.

12:51 - Nikki M. James and Christian Borle are on talking about the Broadway League and the wonderful theatre season that was...and the Stage Act's upcoming tax benefits for Broadway w/ a thank you to Chuck Schumer.

12:50 - back to commercial, and we're seeing a video package devoted to the behind the scenes workers of Broadway

12:46 - and another standing ovation in the house for the cast of HAMILTON, who we think are going to have a good night.

12:40 - Followed by the rapper, Common.

12:40 - Talking about HAMILTON tonight, on video, the President and First Lady are speaking on the story of the show, and the story of our country.

12:38 - Blair Underwood is here talking about Carnegie Mellon's Theatre in Education Award, go arts educators!

12:37 - (for this rehearsal at least), the previous tradition of sending Tony producers to accept from the side stairs, appears to have ended.

12:33 - Diane Lane (returning to Broadway later this year) is onstage to present Best Revival of a Play.

12:30 - Back in commercial, it's more audience karaoke -- Aaron Tveit singing 'Defying Gravity' and apologizing for the high key. These are fun and hope they make it online later.

12:27 - The cast of HAMILTON is out on the street, which means their performance is coming up!

12:26 - A great performance from the uber-talented cast, who the audience is thrilled to see reunited at the awards today.

12:22 - Another Oscar winner, Marlee Matlin is here to introduce Deaf West's incredible SPRING AWAKENING

12:19 - Cate Blanchett is here to present Leading Actor in a Play, with a reminder she's headed to Broadway later this year!

12:17 - A little more carpool karaoke is always welcome -- on TV, or in my car

12:14 - Back from commercial again in a sec, watching highlights from the pre-show of the Lifetime Winners which will be given out earlier in the night.

12:12 - and another fun fact, if a few casts look a little bigger tonight it's because the swings/standbys have joined them for the Tony performance (as they of course should!).

12:11 - In commercial again, they will present Best Choreography. Fun fact - walking is the only choreography that I'm capable of.

12:10 - and going back to commercial, with the cast of SPRING AWAKENING making their street appearance singing from a 4-lettered musical I'm not going to reveal.

12:09 - A great showcase for the show, that's sure to sell a lot of tickets... Lots of fun.

12:09 - There's few things cuter than the Conga-ing kids of ON YOUR FEET who are out in the audience while Gloria sings her hits with the cast.

12:06 - 19 time Grammy Winner Emilio Estefan is out on stage to introduce ON YOUR FEET and his little known wife, Gloria Estefan.

12:03 - Nathan Lane is on stage, funny as ever, to present Best Leading Actress in a Play

12:02 - James Earl Jones and a stand-in for Angela Lansbury are now on stage, talking about the American Theatre Wing and the important work that they do.

12:01 - and it's another standing ovation here for Cynthia Erivo.

11:57 - Oprah's explaining how this production is totally reinvented ... and she's right! The cast has now taken the stage.

11:56 - And to screaming applause, Oprah has taken the stage, and the cast of THE COLOR PURPLE has entered the house.

11:55 - Glenn Close is in the house -- will try to find appropriate time to beg for SUNSET to return to NYC.

11:51 - James Corden is back, reminding the audience that this is un-televised during the commercial breaks and he is again encouraging audience singing.

11:50 - They are here, and entered to loud (and well-deserved) audience applause.

11:49 - Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Cron will present Best Book, during commercial

11:47 - Carmen Cusack is a treasure.

11:42 - (This gorgeous score has been in constant rotation in the Diamond-house)

11:41 - Who's up for BRIGHT STAR? With a little Steve Martin and Edie Brickell musical intro? We are!

11:39 - Coming back from commercial, Andrew Rannells and Saoirse Una Ronan's stand-in will present Best Featured Actor in a Play

11:36 - We're now being treated to Jonathan Groff and Jesse Tyler Ferguson's "A Whole New World"! Jasmine might be amongst the roles that Jesse was born to play.

11:35 - Still during the commercial, James is now out in the audience trying start a little audience sing-a-long... He's going to be a perfect host tonight.

11:33 - Fiddler's performance was great! Back in commercial, they're award Best Orchestrations

11:28 - Josh Groban is here (and soon to be seen in THE GREAT COMET!) introducing the uber-talented cast of FIDDLER!

11:27 - James Corden is back on stage to introduce Josh Groban who will introduce FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. (And wait till you see how!)

11:23 - Back from commercial with *another* street performance (I'm obsessed with these!). Lucy Liu (stand-in) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are now here for Direction of a Play, and Musical.

11:20 - Most importantly, from Tony Awards Productions "Our hearts are heavy for the unimaginable tragedy that happened last night in Orlando. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those affected. The Tony Awards dedicate tonight's ceremony to them. "

11:19 - and now in commercial, it's Best Lighting Design of a Musical

11:19 - Excitement in the house as Oprah, James Earl Jones, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell entered (separately)

11:18 - One more surprise street performance, and we're back to commercial with FIDDLER being promised when we return!

11:13 - SHE LOVES ME!

11:13 - and the next performance will be....

11:10 - Carole King is here, to very loud applause, and will present Best Score!

11:08 - Patina Miller and Daniel Dae Kim are now onstage to present Best Featured Actor in a Musical.

11:06 - We're now watching a video package celebrating the season of plays... and it's been a great season for them.

11:06 - We just got thanked in a fake Tony winners speech. Life (almost) complete!

11:05 - Back in commercial, Best Lighting Design of a Play is being presented.

10:59 - Now onstage, it's the cast of SHUFFLE ALONG!

10:57 - Next up, Featured Actress in a Musical (a very competitive category)!.

10:56 - Look for more street performances out night w/ surprise performances from some of Broadway's biggest past hits. A great way to honor Tony history.

10:54 - During the commercial, we're learning about this year's special Tony honorees, which were award earlier this week at a cocktail reception.

10:53 - And we're in commercial. Of note, the performers have all had extra rehearsals all week and the casts have been here at the Beacon since very early this morning. They go from here straight to their matinees, and then back for the Awards. A long day, but high-energy!

10:52 - We're not going to ruin the surprise of what's included, but expect the Tonys to take to the street to celebrate their 70th.

10:50 - Great performance! I want to be 'in the band!' Maybe there's an adult one with talent not required?

10:47 - ALW reminded folks that the kids are all playing live... They are, and the level of talent is insane. As a child, I was known for having no musical talent as a crappy 3rd clarinet player. Oops.

10:46 - Onstage now is Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber himself, to screaming audience applause to introduce the cast of SCHOOL OF ROCK!

10:45 - For those who have read this blog each year, you'll know this. For those that don't... Awards are presented to a random nominee, and are accepted by stand-ins

10:43 - And we're off and running - first up, is a stand-in for Jake Gyllenhaal to present Best Featured Actress in a Play.

10:43 - Even better the second time through, with a (rare) standing ovation from the house.

10:31 - Opening #, take 2 and we'll go live after that!

10:31 - and we're 1 minute from the dress!

10:26 - Now they're resetting the stage to run through the number again, and starting the dress rehearsal for real in 4 minutes. Yay!

10:25 - O-M-Fabulous Opening Number! Just ran for the first time. Brilliant!

10:13 - They've alerted us that they'll be running the opening number twice this morning. Also a reminder that award winners for the dress rehearsal are for dress rehearsal purposes only. Want the real winners? Tune in with us tonight!

10:08 - Excitement is high at the Beacon as they set the stage to start the rest. As usual, we're going to remain spoiler free about the opening number, closing number (if there is one) and other surprises. Thanks for following along!

10:05 - They're currently rehearsing the pre show awards, real dress should begin soon!

8:31 - Good Morning BroadwayWorld! We are headed to the Beacon shortly for the Tony Awards Dress Rehearsal. Look for coverage beginning around 9:30 AM.


And of course, don't forget to follow along with BroadwayWorld all night. We'll be bringing you live coverage of who's winning, transcriptions of the the on-air and backstage thank you speeches, live photos from the best photo team in the business, videos of the winners after they come offstage, special surprises and more. Plus, you can come to us to tune in for the red carpet and backstage live streams.

It's all Tonys all day at BroadwayWorld.com.


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From This Author Robert Diamond